Thursday, June 12, 2008

Set in One's Ways

We've all heard the phrase used to describe older person who's a bit cantankerous and stubborn about changing habits, "set in her ways." I'm fighting it but have to admit I begin to understand the impulse. I've always considered myself flexible, open to the new and different. But to be quite honest I felt a bit of chaffing the last week when a house guest was here. For one thing this is not a house, it's apartment, and not a large one. In house there's more wiggle room usually, there's very little here. My guest was entirely considerate and flexible herself which is a great help. My chaffing was only at the back of my mind when I chose not to make coffee immediately upon rising in order not to wake her and other such small mattters.

This was a long time friend from Australia who I haven't seen for a dozen years or more. There was much catching up to do and many places to go -- all enjoyable. The picture above is my friend at the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum. Like so many Aussies,she has traveled a great deal to many places in the world but has not been to Egypt so this small temple was a new experience for her. Giving our friends new experiences -- when they are open to them, as she is -- is one of the rewards of living in a complex and culturally rich place like NYC. I also took her to my Quilt Guild which happened to have particularly colorful meeting -- another new experience.

What's not to enjoy? Nothing! Sleeping on the sofa was not a problem, it's a comfortable sofa and I slept well. No the only "set in her ways" problem was a break in a rhythm that has become fairly set. It was good for me to break that rhythm for several days. Perhaps it's just a matter of keeping an eye open for signs of attitudinal rigor mortis setting in prematurely and making sure to allow these interruptions to happen, relaxing into a different daily patterns for a while.

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